Feeling better and a general summing up of their part in my recovery the cats get back to normal life on my return to work. 

After a week or so, I began to feel much better. I told Biggles, Charlie and Garfield that I was going back to work. They looked at each other in dismay. They like having me at home to snuggle up to, like a giant hot water bottle. They are fed on demand, and I give them sweeties. But they rallied round and prepared themselves for the old routine where the day begins at 6.00am with breakfast, and ends at 7.00pm when they meet me in the hallway, ready for part one of their dinner, part two being served for supper at 11.00pm.

Garfield sat on the back of the settee looking out of the window on the morning I left for the office. He looked relieved that I had come through this bout of flu with little or no interruption to his working day. He breathed a sigh of relief. I had been a tough patient, but he had pulled me through, able assisted by his right-pawed man, Biggles and the comedic antics of Charlie. He watched me until I had gone from view, then he sighed as he found his favourite cushions. Giving himself a leisurely wash, he thought about the events of the past week or so. It had been a close shave, he decided, as he curled himself round into a ball, nose meeting tail.

Charlie had picked Spud up and carried him to the sofa next to where Garfield was sleeping. He gave Spud a quick wash before having a more thorough wash himself and he, too, curled up, his paws protectively around Spud.

Biggles in my bottom drawerBiggles, meanwhile, was already asleep. He had opened the bottom drawer in my bedroom where I keep my best jumpers. He turfed out the two jumpers that he didn't like; red didn't suit him and the grey was scratchy. He kneaded on a soft lemon lambs wool for a few moments before he, too, curled up in a ball and gave himself up to his dreams. He was also glad that I had gone back to work and the house was back to some normality. It's a huge responsibility being a locum and he was relieved that Garfield had taken charge of the situation. After all, Garfield was more qualified, he liked to watch medical dramas like 'ER', 'Chicago Hope' and 'Casualty.' He wondered briefly if I was all right. He knew I had coughed quite a bit during the night, but soon my image blurred with his dreams of fish and birds as he played in a wonderland known only to cats. He was still there when I got home from work, twelve hours later. 

* A revised version of this article appeared in the October 2001  issue of 'Your Cat' magazine.

© Pauline Dewberry 2000




A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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